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PYCL: Show thought-control by alertly your watching every thought!

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO

[PYCL: Show thought-control by alertly your watching every thought!
Look to upper right of our online Downloads for “sin no more” insights on citation B8.]
Possible Younger Class Lessons for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?
for Sunday, April 12, 2015

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

Pycl #1: There is an obvious theme of ‘watching’ in this lesson which gives us some fun options with kids. One idea with the younger kids might be to have one student turn away/look another direction while another student does something sneaky (and harmless of course). Maybe you set a few small pieces of candy on the table and they take a few or all, while others aren’t watching. Can they do this while the kids are watching and get away with it? Then talk about how this is what happens when we don’t watch for good in our lives. If we are not alert, we might find ourselves unhappy, angry, feeling jealous, etc. because we aren’t being on the lookout/watch for the goodness of God all around us. And when we see this goodness, we need to be rejoicing in it, making it known! This is being a really great ‘watchman’. The Responsive Reading revealed to me that we must watch our thought in order to keep praise and gratitude at the surface—otherwise we can be overwhelmed by sadness or the suggestion of depression. I had never quite seen this Psalm in this light before. But it is a lovely way to look at it and to attack the thought that depression or melancholy is something over which we have no control.

Pycl #2: Most of the kids will be familiar with the idea of keeping watch against evil, and that is important as well. But I liked the focus in this lesson of watching also for the presence and power of good as a way to keep out evil. We can do these two activities in tandem, as is illustrated in citations B3 and S5. By becoming “more familiar with good than with evil” and blessing God and rejoicing in all that He does, we are watching in the best way! What are the “thieves and murderers” that Mrs. Eddy is talking about here? Can the kids think of other things that steal away our joy, our peace, or even try to “kill” such things? Having recently studied reality and unreality, can we apply anything we’ve learned to recognize these “thieves/murderers” as unreal despite their aggression? What can we actively do to “disarm” them?

Pycl #3: In the story of the woman that was brought to Jesus to be judged, what were the Pharisees and scribes “watching” for? What was Jesus watching for? Did he bring healing to just the woman? (S8) Can we be like him and bring healing to all around us through our own watchfulness? Sometimes it might seem like others come to us to point out someone’s short comings or “sins”, what is our job as a careful “watchman” in those circumstances? Should we “join in” and start “throwing stones” (criticizing, passing gossip, isolating etc.)? Or do we need to pause and pray and bless everyone involved?

Pycl #4: I like the idea of looking at citation S13 as one way to “watch”: “Let unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love—the kingdom of heaven—reign within us, and…” Isn’t this pro-active work a kind of watchfulness that shuts out error and welcomes in health? Maybe that could be a passage to memorize for some of the older kids.

Pycl #5: When it does seem like sin, disease and death are real… use the idea of dreams to help explain why they are not substance, not powerful. Citations S17, and S23 refer to dreams and to wakening. Sometimes this is a really helpful analogy. Of course, sharing examples of healing is always a great way to illustrate this point.

Pycl #6: There are two stories in this lesson that deal with the Pharisees and scribes and their blindness to the goodness and power of the Christ. What made them “blind” to God’s goodness? Citation S16, I think, puts it succinctly. It is pride that blinds us; pride makes us look to ourselves, our personal “achievement” instead of giving all glory to God. It blinds us to God as the constant source and provider of all good. And it makes us feel as if we are somehow ‘less’ when others achieve some sort of success where we do not appear to. If we see God as the source of all good, bestowing equally on all, we rejoice in other’s success and give the praise to God. Then we find that we too, have the same ability to bless and succeed! [Train thought to respond to all good with: TYG! TMT! (Thank You, God! That’s Mine Too!) This TMT, inspired by obeying the 10th Commandment, is more powerful that TNT!]

Pycl #7: Do we ever want to let something evil into our home? Would we open the door and let in a bad person, or a smelly skunk? No! Look at citation B14 together. I like the NLT translation of verse 34: “Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!” I like that idea of waiting outside God’s home. What is His home? Is it the kingdom of heaven? Is it in our consciousness? Is His home a place that is safe, secure, loving, happy, comfortable? What do we need, to be standing watch for God and His goodness? Do we need a sword (sharp, clear thought). Do we need some armor (strong, tough and persistent declarations of Truth)?

Pycl #8: I don’t really know if this qualifies as a Pycl, but I was moved in pondering citation S25 as a sort of command and statement in one. Something like this: When the glory is to God—when what we do and think is for the glory of God—then we have peace, no matter what we are struggling with, no matter the evidence to material sense! [Altar everything to alter everything!]

Have a great Sunday!!

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